Can Fashion Be a Form of Self-Care?

Handshakes, hugs, petting on the back, even airy kisses that just brush the cheek – these basic modes of human interaction have been put on hold in the pandemic, replaced by the pale substitutes for elbow bumps, six-foot waves and glimpses of loved ones through the glass. We crave physical interaction, the feeling of skin to skin – what is in fashion often called “the touch of the hand”.

Such sensory contacts are rare between these days, which perhaps explains why in Milan this season Italian designers have doubled the tactile pleasure. Clothing can be a poor replacement for a full body embrace, but it sits next to the skin and, in its sheer materiality, provides a semblance of comfort; to sink into sensation.

“I didn’t want to do something that was just for the screen,” Francesco Risso, Marni’s creative director, said during a Zoom call (it’s the current equivalent of the post-show interview in behind the scenes), before talking about his desire to “focus on intimacy”.

It may sound like designer gobbledygook, but Mr. Risso then opened his door to the world, inviting a motley group of creative friends / musicians / artists / models (tested by Covid) to his home to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, among other adventures. All the while, they were filmed carrying her new collection, of course, which was just as clever and oddly homemade as the menu.

Sneaker soup, anyone? A table as a track?

OK, what about a quilted coat made into a capelike poncho so large it swallowed the entire torso, flowery feathers around the neck, or a shirt dress with a paint spill down the front and a squirt of it ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ruffles at the knee? The faux furs dyed black, then scratched, solarized, and dyed again so that the fabrics themselves become like layers of excavation, the blackness giving way to something quite lighter? Crochet tracksuits? Mylar blankets turned into evening dresses, so crisp you could practically hear them move?

It was like fancy DIY on steroids. You wanted to feel it to believe it.

Perhaps because many Italian brands, like Marni, started their lives as manufacturers of textiles or leather goods, turning to design as the opportunity presented itself, they often seemed to focus. more on the making of a garment than on the challenge of the vernacular of the silhouette or the style. In ancient times, this could mean that the resulting collections seemed safe or heavy (or just plain boring), but in the context of the moment, the emphasis on the physical gives them a relevance that echoes even through the cold light. from the computer. .

It turns into a swaddling season; hugs and softness for adults; clothes so fluffy they are like a wearable form of personal care. At Tod’s, sheepskin hats and bags pair with fluffy blanket coats and buttery leather bombers. At Etro, patchwork brocades rub shoulders with collegiate knits and bohemian cashmere. And at Giorgio Armani, the long-haired iridescent velvets and swishy draped silk pants suddenly looked like luxe pajamas.

Even at Salvatore Ferragamo, where Paul Andrew used virtual reality to transport his track to the Starship Enterprise (who hasn’t, at some point in the past 10 months, wished to be in another dimension?), The leathers sci-fi motorcycles were quilted mesh and nubby gave off long tendrils of fringe.

If the oily PVC ponchos and sheer chainmail seemed … well, strangers to the brand, they were less shocking than Dolce & Gabbana’s journey down a path of memory paved with neon lights and music video-style corsets. from the 1990s. Among the mighty shoulders, crystal minis and leopard prints, however, there were quilt-sized techno puffers and ostrich-feather chubbies practically designed for nesting.

You know you’re at a turning point when Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, one of fashion’s great colorists, takes a triumph in lime green (Cynthia Erivo’s dress) and Dutch yellow (Dan Levy’s costume) on the carpet. red from the Golden Globes, produces a collection almost entirely in … black and white.

Shot live, with a musical soloist and zero audiences, the show took place at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Valentino normally has his parades in Paris, but Mr. Piccioli, anchored in Italy by the pandemic, had decided to make a point of honor. Before being renovated and renamed as a theater, the building, Mr Piccioli said, was a place where anti-fascists were tortured, and in its transformation it had come to represent freedom and humanity, starting over again.

“I wanted to do something minimalist in shape, but deep in dimension,” he said of the collection, which included capes and cropped pants, ultra-short skirts and rounded, oversized tops that looked like turtle shells – simple, demanding shapes that at second glance contained multitudes.

The big sweaters were of cable knit and sprinkled with gold; the flippy skirts were pebbled for texture and patched crisp white lace shirts. Things were never quite what they seemed, so what looked like fishnet turned out to be an oversized mesh knit, a jacquard plaid was actually strips of fabric sewn together, and the dresses in the crochet were formed from individual floral applications.

You just had to lean closer, then closer, to see.

Source link

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.